Paper trail

I’m scrolling through CNN’s live updates on the Trump outrages, remembering to breathe every couple of minutes or so.

Headline from an hour and 20 minutes ago:

Trump told China’s president the US would stay silent on Hong Kong protests during trade talks

Breathing halted again.

Text under headline:

During a private phone call in June, President Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued, two sources familiar with knowledge of the call tell CNN.

Why this matters: The remarkable pledge to the Chinese leader is a dramatic departure from decades of US support for human rights in China and shows just how eager Trump is to strike a deal with Beijing as the trade war weighs on the US economy.

More to the point, it shows just how indifferent Trump is to human rights and human beings.

And like other calls with the leaders of Ukraine, Russia and Saudi Arabia, records of Trump’s call with Xi were moved to a highly-classified, codeword-protected system, greatly limiting the number of administration officials who were aware of the conversation.

Because it’s so filthy. They’ve been hiding the highly-filthy ones so that even most of the trumpies won’t know about them.

Scrolling down…last night there were text messages released.

The text messages, which were released by the House Intelligence Committee, underscore how Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was closely connected to US policy on Ukraine and was involved in setting up the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky, in which Trump also urged an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

They show how cognizant the Ukrainians were about the importance of the election investigation to Trump and Giuliani’s role.

On the morning of the call, in an exchange with a key adviser to the Ukrainian President, then-US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker made clear that it was important to the White House that Zelensky convince Trump that an investigation into the 2016 election would happen.

“Heard from the White House — assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington,” Volker said via text to the Ukrainian adviser on the morning of July 25.

Volker provided Congress with the text messages ahead of his closed-door congressional testimony on Thursday before three committees leading the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine.

So there it is, in writing.

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